Helius Therapeutics

New Zealand medicinal cannabis company Helius Therapeutics has appointed Candace Kinser as its new chair, replacing cornerstone investor Guy Haddleton, who remains on the board.

A former chief executive of Biomatters and NZTech, Kinser’s current board roles include chair of Cancer Society Auckland/Northland, an appointed director for Livestock Improvement Corporation, and a director at NZ Health Partnerships.

Helius Therapeutics chair Candace Kinser

She said she was attracted to Helius’ founding motivation to develop novel prescription medicines for patients with limited treatment options.

“Helius has a bold vision to become a world leader in the research, development and production of next-generation cannabinoid medicines.”

However, she insisted the company was “not about cannabis, it’s all about advancing health outcomes, as well as leading an enormous economic opportunity for New Zealand.”

Chief executive Carmen Doran added: “As well as significant governance, commercialisation and capital raising experience, Candace is deeply passionate about improving quality of life for patients who are suffering and looking for more effective alternatives.”

ECS Botanics

ECS Botanics managing director Alex Keach

ECS Botanics recorded revenue of around A$900,000 in Q1 FY22, up 123% on the previous quarter driven by increased demand and new local and international supply agreements.

The increase represents a 616% increase on the previous corresponding period (Q1 FY21), when revenue was $146,000.

The company plans to plant 4,000 kilograms of medicinal cannabis in the coming months to meet increased demand, with cultivation and preparation activities underway in Tasmania and Victoria. Sales are currently being fulfilled via its existing medicinal cannabis storage.

Opticann

Canadian-based Heritage Cannabis Holdings Corp’s subsidiary Opticann has signed agreements with two “well-established” Australian companies for the supply of medicinal cannabis products.

The first shipment of medical cannabis CBD/CBDA filmstrips totalling $60,000 was recently completed.

President of Heritage’s medical division Umar Syed said: “Australia is an important and quickly growing medical market, as it is poised to grow at over 30% CAGR between now and 2028 according to Grand View Research.

Heritage CEO David Schwede

“Our Australian distribution partners were carefully selected for their ability to develop the market for CBD products, and to monitor for evolving TGA regulations, including possible S3 classification that enables over-the-counter CBD product distribution.”

CEO David Schwede added: “As we continue to grow our market and brand distribution in Canada, it is important for us to monitor and act on new markets with a strategic approach in order to capitalise on new opportunities.

“By partnering with these well-established companies in Australia, we can leverage their local knowledge and expertise, while minimising the costs and risks of entering new markets.”

Releaf Group

Releaf Group’s clinic and dispensaries division has reported 100% growth for Q1 FY22 compared to the previous quarter.

Annualised revenue for the group’s clinic and dispensary in St Kilda, Victoria is on target to exceed A$7m in FY22, with flower sales now making up more than 60% of products dispensed.

CEO Gary Mackenzie said the increase reflected the latest TGA figures, with 5,480 flower prescriptions approved in September.

Releaf is currently building six new franchises in Queensland, with plans to roll out others in NSW, SA and WA as Covid lockdowns ease.

Greenfern Industries

Medicinal cannabis and hemp company Greenfern Industries will list on the New Zealand Stock Exchange from next Thursday (October 21).

Managing director Dan Casey said the listing will enable the Taranaki-based firm, founded in 2018, to attract new capital to fund growth opportunities.

Greenfern will have almost 85 million shares on issue at 25c per share and is expected to have an implied market capitalisation of just over NZ$21m on listing.

Greenfern has grown through two crowdfunding rounds that raised more than $4.8million. The company raised an additional $2.16m from wholesale investors earlier this year and now has almost 2,000 shareholders.

In May, Greenfern was named New Zealand’s first carbon zero medicinal cannabis and industrial hemp company.

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...